We like to keep tabs on any new developments in network expansion and modernization here at TmoNews. After all, if we just waited for official word on new upgrades, we’d only get them once per quarter. And those announcements never really paint the true picture of what customers are experiencing.
We’ve been sent a handful of sightings over the past couple of weeks that make for encouraging reading. One area T-Mobile’s needed work for some time now is 4G coverage in rural areas. Two readers, from very different locations got in touch from two small towns to let us know that they’ve had access to 4G (HSPA+ and LTE) for the first time.
This area, Seaside in Oregon has switched to 4G LTE in the past month. The Google Maps screenshot shows a ‘current location’ indicator, and the ’4G LTE’ symbol in the status bar. And, although speed test results don’t put it up there with the likes of Dallas or Houston, TX, it’s still a huge improvement when you’re used to trundling along on EDGE.
In the case of Paradise, it would appear the HSPA+ is only being tested at the moment. Signs are encouraging nonetheless. Our reader noticed the ’4G’ logo pop up on his phone in areas which were previously just EDGE. He did manage some speed tests, but results were very low, indicating that it is in the early phases of being switched on. We weren’t able to verify if LTE is also being tested since the device wasn’t LTE capable. If you happen to be in the area with a LTE phone, let us know if you receive LTE service.
T-Mobile’s spreading the Wideband LTE love further afield, and the latest we’ve been informed of is the city of Rockford, 86-ish miles north west of Chicago, IL. Speeds, again, aren’t the fastest we’ve seen, but those should hopefully improve over time (presuming the upgrade isn’t done yet). As you can see from the screenshot on the right, it’s showing up as a 15+15 network in Service Mode on our reader’s device.
As always, thanks for sending in your sightings. Don’t forget, if you spot any changes in network performance you can get in touch with me by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include screenshots indicating performance, and tracking on Sensorly’s app if possible.